|Sarah Jaffe Θ The Body Wins (2012)|
Sarah Jaffe Θ The Body Wins
Born: January 29, 1986 / Location: Denton, Texas, USA
Album release: April 24, 2012
Record Label: Kirkland Records
01. Paul (2:03)
02. The Body Wins (3:07)
03. Glorified High (3:45)
04. Mannequin Woman (3:17)
05. Halfway Right (3:30)
06. The Way Sound Leaves A Room (3:43)
07. Fangs (3:32)
8. Hooray For Love (4:28)
09. Foggy Field (3:01)
10. Sucker For Your Marketing (3:12)
11. Limerence (3:24)
12. Talk (2:53)
13. When You Rest (4:45) // Members: Robert Gomez, Jeff Ryan, Becki Howard, Scott Danbom, Sarah Jaffe
// Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/542960635/posts/425398487484679#!/SarahJaffeMusic // Brooklyn Vegan: http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2012/03/sarah_jaffe_pla.html
“Jaffe is blessed with both a trenchant lyrical pen and a vocal instrument perfectly suited to mainlining her effortlessly crafted, heartbroken tunes straight to the soul.”
— Paste Magazine
By Michael Berick May 3rd, 2012 at 7:00 am
The 20-something Texan Sarah Jaffe could have played it safe on her sophomore album, and remained a singer-songwriter strumming her tunes on a guitar. Jaffe isn’t a typical Lone Star State troubadour. She comes from Denton, which also home to such genre-shifting bands as Midlake and Centro-matic, and Jaffe similarly reveals adventurous musical ambitions on The Body Wins.
While her debut Suburban Nature started off with one of those strummed guitars, Jaffe opens her sophomore disc with a short song, titled “Paul,” that finds her at the piano and surrounded by strings. The next tune, the title track, reveals the influence of the bass and drum that Jaffe picked up at a pawnshop before making this album. Here again she uses strings along with horns and a strong drumbeat to create an intriguing avant dance-pop hybrid. She pushes the musical envelope further on the third tune, the exuberant “Glorified High,” which boasts a New Wave-like hookiness powered by a distorted guitar line.
With her Suburban Nature producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, The Walkmen), Jaffe has designed a beguiling organic/synthetic musical blend. Her music utilizes a lot of synths and studio sounds that complement and contrast with the horns, strings and Jaffe’s own emotive vocals. “A Sucker For Your Marketing” was the first song that she wrote for The Body Wins and she plays the bass on the album track. The song, which is more about relationships than marketing, serves up a potent rhythm track that plays off some jagged guitars, swelling strings and Jaffe’s dramatic singing, which results in a sound that suggests Tori Amos fronting Gang of Four.
Jaffe’s musical experimentation results in a continually absorbing effort that yields some wonderful songs. On “Halfway Right,” Jaffe achieves a soulful vibe that recalls Adele, only with a more modernistic musical approach. “Talk” stands out as another catchy track, which emphasizes the synthesizers and programmed drums but packs a lot of dance floor-ready energy into under 3 minutes.
While the song title “Hooray For Love” suggests another celebratory piece, it is actually a darker rumination on love (“He says torture me and I’ll torture you” goes one line) set against an overcast arrangement punctuated with lightning strikes of strings and Jaffe’s emotion-filled vocals. She follows that melodramatic outing, however, with the low-key, and lovely, “Foggy Field,” a simple, little tune in which she sings along with a delicate string quintet.
“Foggy Field” mentions being in a “dreamlike state,” and her lyrics often have a dream-inspired quality to them. There’s almost a mantra-ish lullaby feel when she sings “Where you gonna rest your head/Where you gonna rest those long legs” on “When You Rest.” However, sometimes her lyrics seem to come more from a fever dream as when she sings “Found a cold spot in the water in the summer, which was slaughter” at the start of “Halfway Right.” Jaffe’s lyrics are more impressionistic and ethereal than your stereotypical earthy Texas troubadour, and occasionally they become a bit too elusive for the listener to grasp (“On the seventh day, we set aside our brains – from an amateur hell” she sings in “Paul”).
Among the players assisting Jaffe to achieve this richly textured sound are Midlake drummer McKenzie Smith and Centro-matic keyboardist Scott Danbom as well as fellow Denton-ite, guitarist Robert Gomez. To help with the string arrangements, Jaffe enlisted the services of her friend, Fiona Brice, whose extensive credits include Placebo and Kanye West.
Jaffe takes an admirable artistic leap with this disc and she seems to be fast developing into an artist with an expansive musical vision. It will be curious to see where she goes from here. The Body Wins stands as something of a transitional work for Jaffe, but it’s an impressive album for wherever her musical journey takes her. (Fortaken:
http://www.americansongwriter.com/2012/05/sarah-jaffe-the-body-wins/) Jaffe will be playing at the upcoming NX35 and will soon be touring with Norah Jones.
Singer Sarah Jaffe remembers when she played her first show at Club Dada in Dallas when she was 17 years old.
With her parents cheering her on in the audience, Jaffe said, she felt like background music because no one paid attention to her as she stood on stage singing with her guitar.
Now, the 24-year-old just got back from opening U.S. and Europe shows with Denton band Midlake and is about to start touring again with former UNT student Norah Jones in March.
“I’m so excited,” Jaffe said. “It’s wonderful timing as well as an insane opportunity to play in front of so many people at once.”
But before she heads out to open shows once again, she will play the NX35 Music Conferette on March 12 at Dan’s Silver Leaf.
Jaffe has spent most of her music career in Denton, playing in various coffee houses and figuring out her own musical style.
“I’m a storyteller, and I usually embellish a little bit, but songs are usually drawn from my life happenings,” Jaffe said.
The singer said she is always writing songs, but likes to revisit the ones she wrote when she first started performing.
It is interesting to see the mindset of a teenager and how she has progressed in her songwriting, she said.
“I’m just scratching my head that I wasn’t going through anything life changing, and it’s kind of like an omen almost that I’m experiencing those things now,” Jaffe said.
With previous spots in last year’s Austin City Limits lineup, Austin’s SXSW music festival bill, last year’s NX35 and playing with some of music’s up-and-coming artists, such as Lykke Li, Jaffe said she can’t wait to get back on the road to tour again. Her debut album Suburban Nature will be released May 18.
Local musician Chris Semmelbeck of Seryn played a show with Jaffe in January and said the band hopes to play many more with her in the future.
“She’s a great artist,” Semmelbeck said. “It’s good songwriting, good singing and her instrumentation is always spot on.”
Semmelbeck said he hopes to catch Jaffe open for Norah Jones on their upcoming tour.
Kelsey Schneider, a kinesiology sophomore, bought Jaffe’s EP Even Born Again on iTunes recently. She loves all of her songs, especially “Adeline,” she said.
“I think she has such a different sound,” Schneider said. “It’s kind of mysterious, and the lyrics make you think. It’s like reading a book while you listen to music.”
by Graciela Razo of North Texas Daily / Friday, February 26, 2010
|Sarah Jaffe Θ The Body Wins (2012)|